Whether you take part in marathons or you run as a hobby, you must be aware of what heart rate zones are, as well as the different types and the training sessions that you can adapt accordingly.
What is heart rate zone?
Heart rate zone can be defined as a range which has an upper and a lower limit of different training intensities. The heart rate zone can be calculated by using an age-predicted maximum heart rate, which is known as HRmax and an equation called heart rate reserve. Heart rate zones can also be defined as the percentage of your maximum heart rate.
Types Of Heart Rate Zones
There are five types of heart rate zones.
- Very Light
This particular heart rate zone consists of 50 percent to 60 percent of maximum heart rate. This is the basic level which helps in recovery and prepares you for higher training running.
The second heart rate zone consists of 60 percent to 0 percent of maximum heart rate. This particular zone enhances your overall endurance and also helps in burning excessive fat and calories, thus shaping your body. Also, this is the zone, which should be essentially incorporated into every runner’s routine.
70 percent to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate is constituted by this third zone. This zone improves blood circulation in a runner’s body and also helps in strengthening the skeletal system.
Consisting of 80 percent to 90 percent of the maximum heart rate, this particular zone helps the body to absorb carbohydrates and also enhances the running ability and endurance of a runner.
The fifth and last heart rate zone constitutes of 90 percent to 100 percent of the maximum heart rate zone. A runner’s heart, blood, and respiratory system are working to the full potential when a runner reaches this particular heart zone.
Running sessions under the heart rate zones mentioned above are as follows:
- Recovery or very light zone
In this zone, a runner runs very slowly and smoothly. This zone is ideal for beginners and jogging, or brisk walking are advisable training sessions in this zone, thus utilizing oxygen and better working the body muscles.
- Endurance or light zone
This stage is crucial for every runner as in this particular zone, the overall body endurance is increased, mostly in terms of speed and strong muscle formation. Jogging and running small distances are key training exercises for this zone.
- Aerobics or moderate zone
This is also an important zone for runners to follow. In this particular stage, the runner’s breathing is enhanced by an effective circulation of oxygen throughout the body and keeping carbon dioxide further away from your cells. Also, training sessions for this zone consist of breathing exercises and other small physical exercises which help to enhance your breathing during running and strengthening your muscular system.
- Threshold or hard zone
In this zone, a runner burns glycogen to cater to the energy requirements demanded by the body. Hardcore training exercises are part of this zone which leaves your breathing heavy. Some of the training sessions include both physical and breathing exercises but at an advanced level.
- Redline or maximum zone
This is a very tough zone to train and exercises in this zone are at an added extreme level thus catering to your whole body. Fit runners should train in this zone.
Best Zone For Long Distance Running
Thus, after analyzing the types of heart zones, the following are the zones best for long distance running:
Endurance – For building stamina and overall strength.
Threshold and Red Line – For excessive training and breathing exercises which are essential for long-distance running.